Intent on a clutter of college ruled,
absorbed in ink and smudges of thought,
I never noticed her in the doorway,
hopeful in a hopeless red dress-

write this down, she said;

write this down so you'll listen,
so you'll hear what I got to say
the same way I hear you when you put into words
the flat of this dismal sky;
it makes me feel damp on my skin,
taste lonely at the back of my throat

and I know you think I don't know much
about words, or just how them words
make you happy when nothing else can,
but I understand well enough, I get it
when I read "nothing grows here but water"

so write this down, and listen:

I want to live out loud;
I want to be more than what I am,
I want to sit in one of them outside cafe's
sipping mint juleps like ladies do in Atlanta;
I want to wear my hair up in curls, silk on my back,
smell anything besides magnolia and tobacco and dirt-

I need to tell my daddy
that the best look at God is from hell,
not a pulpit and I need to let my momma see
what she closed her eyes to at night;
I need to learn how to cry and remember
that tears is just so much salty water.
I have to chip out what's been covered in stone.

I want to read on them pages someday
that maybe I was special; that you noticed
how I held you, your sap still on my hands,
while you twisted uneasy in sleep.
Let me see it put down that you thought I was pretty,
hair the color of honey off the comb, skin like butter.
Paint me in a poem that will find its way out of here-

She caught her breath with a hitch,
a sound so small that I bent to catch it.
Her fingers fluttered, familiar against her neck;
she turned, walked away without another word-
her talc lingered long after she'd gone.


Eric Alder said...

This is stellar. That's all I can say. Stellar.

Eric Alder said...

I've been perusing your blog. You've got a lot of good stuff here.

You should check out these poetry groups:

Poets United

On Stop Poetry

We could always use a person of your caliber and I'm sure you'd find a warm reception for your work at both sites.

The Lettershaper said...

Thank you! I'll be sure to check them out!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh my! Eric told us about you at Poets United so I came to peek. What fantastic writing! This tells a heartrending story that I know will stay with me. Really wonderful writing. The best!